Russia tightens control over charter flights

charter flightsThe Russian Ministry of Transport reinforces control over international charter flights and increases the requirements for airlines’ liability for quality passenger service. In cases of mass delays, Rosaviatsia (Federal Air Transport Agency) will impose restrictions on the operator’s certificate and prohibit the carrier from operating international flights. The companies with repeating cases will lose access to international routes.

The new rules come into force with the beginning of the autumn-winter flight schedule (October 29).

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, instructed the Ministries of Transport and Culture to submit proposals for market normalization and applying effective regulations by October 10. As result, were prepared package of measures by the transport ministry.

Restrictions in the certificate and refusal of access to international routes are foreseen for cases of mass flight delays. The issue will be further discussed by the airlines and Rosaviatsia.

Another ministerial provision to Rosaviatsia is related to the development of a special order by which the agency will audit the ability of carriers to perform their duties and whether they have sufficient staff.

Thus, from the start of the autumn-winter flight timetable, the new mechanism will be in force where tour operators will only enter into contracts with airlines if Rosaviatsia confirms that they are able to fulfill their charter programs.

The Ministry of Transport has entrusted the agency with tightening control over the issue of return tickets for organized travelers. Nowadays, airlines often make tickets as one-way. Typically, this does not create problems for passengers, but in force majeure circumstances (such as tour operator bankruptcy), it is difficult to prove the right to return flight.

“Proposals are at the development stage”, said Rosaviatsia. According to their data, 327 international charter flights, or 8.9% of the total charter, were delayed for more than 2 hours in June 2017. The largest deviations from the schedules were IFLY (18.1% of the flights held) and VIM-Avia (15.7%). In July, 396 flights or 9.9% of international charters were delayed, most affected being Red Wings (21.8%) and IFLY (19.3%).